MOTOR biography 2009
“A good MOTOR track kills the dance-floor and works equally well in the live context . . .”
As its title suggests, Motor’s new album ‘Metal Machine’ is abrasive and metallic, combining tough techno beats with raw rock riffs, underscored by ‘relentless mechanical grooves that spit blood’ (as Bryan Black puts it.)
All ten tracks retain Motor’s trademark industrial/ rock elements previously showcased on albums Klunk and Unhuman and comes out on T Raumschmiere’s punk-techno independent Berlin label ShitKatapult Records in May and Steve Aoki's Dim Mak in the USA early summer.
“Whenever possible, we perform live. We love the thrill. And it allows us to be true to the whole MOTOR concept . . .”
Motor’s natural environment is on stage, where both generally mild mannered protagonists morph into strutting, snarling raucous rock gods, spewing forth take-no-prisoners techno as they prowl and pace around.
Relentlessly touring the world since they started, Motor have played superclubs and giant festival stages even fitting in a pan-Europe/ Stateside road trip with proto industrial heroes Nitzer Ebb, last year. Having dodged rabid skinheads who tried to attack them in Germany the duo plan to be well prepared when they walk out on stage with Depeche Mode on their upcoming tour.
“We just smash beer cans over our head and do a few push ups before each show,” Bryan explains, “Nothing too crazy.”
“We used to fight about anything from looks, music, personality, videos, and ideas . . . it was a total nightmare.”
First teaming up in 2005, New Yorker Bryan Black and then London based Frenchman Mr No forged an immediately fruitful, if intense, friendship with misunderstandings a frequent issue. With Mr No eventually controlling his creative rages by banning himself from checking emails the duo eventually found creative harmony, lubricated by the presence of (now departed) Spanish lothario Hugo Menendez.
With the babe magnet frontman suddenly leaving to launch his own band, Motor are back to a twosome, though with no hard feelings, says Bryan,
“Hugo is too talented to not pursue his song writing,” he explains, “We still love him despite the fact that he's Spanish. It’s not his fault,” he chuckles.
“I live in New York, and Mr No in France, but we are always on tour together, usually bashing out musical ideas in hotel room at obscene hours . . .”
Listening to the raw power, high energy and stark simplicity of tracks such as Fire and new single Death Rave, it’s surprising to learn that the pair live on separate continents, writing in snatched moments during their relentless touring lifestyle.
Mr No recently moved back to France after despairing of London’s notoriously inclement weather, settling in Cote D’Azur hot spot Nice.
“When I was in London I was always in bed watching TV, eating Snickers, Mars bars and greasy food from the takeaway just to keep warm. Great times but . . .’ he shudders.
‘I actually have a purple toothbrush . . .’
First inspired to pursue a career in music by Prince’s 80s soundtrack and movie Purple Rain, Bryan fulfilled his boyhood dream when he was invited to work with Prince at his Paisley Park Studios at the beginning of the 90s. Taking on a staff job as an in-house technician he programmed the Purple One’s keyboards and worked closely with the iconic legend, picking up more than a few pointers he’d later applied to Motor.
I learned a lot of studio trickery from working with Prince,” says Bryan, “And his work ethic is truly inspiring,” he adds.
“If it’s good and pisses enough people off, then it becomes art.”
With all ten tracks on Metal Music being unashamedly unrestrained party rocking monsters, Motor are understandably not aiming to please everybody, though are nevertheless serious about their work, Bryan stresses.
“We don’t make trendy party club music or follow trends in that way, we try to be pioneers and work outside of that scene. “I see MOTOR as an art project.”
Biography by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com) / Photography by Timothy Saccenti
MOTOR biography 2009